Homeschooling Dads and Grandpas

The secret of homeschooling is that it’s never too late to start, even for those of us who were thoroughly schooled in our youth. We become like the homeschooling father who decided to retire early rather than move to a different state, a decision that was good for his family but reduced his income. He observed that he would not have had the courage to make such a decision if homeschooling had not given him experience in taking responsibility for life decisions. ~Larry & Susan Kaseman. “Hanging On To What Makes Homeschooling Distinctive.” Home Education Magazine, November-December 1997

For as long as I can remember, my autodidact Father has had an ever changing pile of books next to him. At 88, he continues to follow his interests and passions with an enthusiasm and love of learning that are contagious. Both my Dad’s and my husband’s love for life have been a gift to all of us, but especially my children.

The articles below offer a glimpse into the life of homeschool fathers. If you have a resource for homeschool Dads, or an article you would like to share, please send it here and I will add it to the collection.

HEM Articles

The Moon is Enough – Jeff Kelety

Homeschooling gave us the natural cohesion of the family. It allowed us to relax in one another’s presence. There isn’t the jarring morning exodus and early evening re-acclimation that accompanies contemporary school life. We spend more of our life together than we do apart, way more. Rather than this being a source of contention as presumed by many schooling families (e.g. “Doesn’t it drive you crazy to spend so much time with your kids?”), it is, to the contrary, a source of great calm and deep, deep contentment. Homeschooling is, in fact, the perfect recipe for love and intimacy.

From Homeschooled to Homeschooling – Dawn Colclasure

That hasn’t stopped Nels Tomlinson, a father of three living with his wife in Juneau, Alaska. “I was homeschooled beginning with the middle of second grade, when we moved from Unalaklete, a small Eskimo village where I was attending the BIA school, to Moses Point, an isolated FAA station with no school,” he says. “It worked out so well that I continued homeschooling through high school.”His experiences being homeschooled prompted him to homeschool his own children.

Our Ultimate Field Trip – Julianna Mazel

“School time” was more fun than ever! Our then 13-year-old daughter began learning video and photography from her father. He set aside time each day to prepare her to work with him. She already possessed a strong interest in photography and video and was eager to learn and participate in that aspect of the trip.

Homeschooling Dad Taking Stock – Jeff Kelety

Such reflections could be construed, I suppose, as my own personal, homeschooling assessment – taking stock as it were. But it would be equally fair to view them as a recounting of my continued surprise and delight at the manner in which homeschooled children, mine in particular, come to new levels of knowledge and experience entirely of their own accord, without the aid of institutional learning. And here I use the term surprise much as one would use it to describe the experience of watching a spectacular sunrise. It’s not that you didn’t expect the sun to rise anew. But the sheer beauty of such a common place event can nonetheless take ones breath away. This is how I feel each time I experience my children cross a developmental milestone. It simply takes my breath away.

Dear New Homeschooler

From Mary McCarthy, long-time homeschooling mom:Relatives! Unfortunately most of us have them. And most of them thought we were strange long before we announced we’d decided to homeschool the kids. Smile, be kind, and be firm in your commitment to home education. Some just need to see the progress, others will think you’re totally incompetent. Include them all. They often make good mentors, so don’t be afraid to ask Grandpa to show Junior how he does something he’s really good at. Hopefully Grandma will be flattered by your request to show the kids how to do something she’s experienced at.

Growing up in the Land of the Midnight Sun – Mary Mullett

The Kumher-Mullett family moved here from Ohio in 1991. They built a home for the grandparents first, using materials from an old abandoned lodge on their property. The extended family lived together for a while in the grandparents’ home. By the time Dad and Grandpa got around to starting a separate house for the Kumhers, Josh was old enough to help put up the logs to build walls – and to build shelves inside the house by himself.

Resources and Other Articles

    A good friend contacted me to suggest that I highlight IHEN. She noted that Ben Bennett was active in IHEN and that it often is the Moms that are participating in support groups and she found it nice to see a Dad so involved as well. I contacted Ben and he humbly pointed out that he was a part of a team that makes IHEN what it is and so we invited the others to join the interview as well.

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